Online or as gathered community, through PayPal or the offering plate, when it is “sanctuary and when it isn’t, we cling to the gospel and the church, not as a hymn-singing non-profit, but as the Body of Christ.
Whatever else, Lent is the church’s reminder that we are ever improvising, seizing the half-baked idea or the unexpected moment of irony, tragedy or failure as an occasion for grace.
Mitt Romney’s act of conscience compelled the President, the Senate and the rest of us to confront faith and conscience, religious liberty and dissent, at this moment in our nation’s troubled, divided history.
Two irreconcilable statements must be heard as one: Auschwitz was liberated 75 years ago. Yet, anti-Semitism endures, now unleashed with new vigor in the American public square.
Sadly, West Freeway Church of Christ will not be the last American faith community to endure violent trauma. Yes, religious communities must develop security strategies for protecting vulnerable worshippers, but people of faith must reject any idea that such horror is normative.
Like it or not, the evangelical dilemma has implications for the way much of Christianity is viewed throughout American culture. The magazine’s now infamous editorial simply punctuated that reality.
Advent and its expectant incarnational witness doesn’t belong to shopping malls, town councils, Congress or even the U.S. presidency. It abides with the church of Jesus Christ.
Today, in the land of the free and the home of the tribal, “discernable truth” seems tenuous at best. Americans are locked collectively in a truth-crisis so perilous that distinguishing “fictional” from “actual realities” has become a 24/7 confrontation across every segment of our national life, churches included.
Today, the “human error” that contributed significantly to our environmental debacle really does mean that the parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth will be set on edge for years to come, probably for generations.